Anna Belle Leiserson (Faith and Web) took me very, very seriously when I suggested using The GIMP, a free and open-source image manipulation program as an alternative to Photoshop. Hard-card Photoshop users bloggers rehearse the limitations of the GIMP, but for most people I imagine it’s a reasonable, even robust alternative. But it’s most at home in Linux and installing it on a Windows or Mac machine is harrowing experience. But she wrestled with it on three non-Linux machines and lives to tell the tale. Read her post for the full effect.
Here’s my comment in reply, with suggestions:
Iâ€™m impressed you got it to work in a Mac OS at all. It can be done, but there seems to be a hierarchy of development for free and open-source software: Linux first, Windows second, then Mac OS.
I use the GIMP more because it comes pre-installed with most (all?) modern, non-niche Linux desktops than its cost. Iâ€™ve never used Photoshop for more than wheel-kicking and its not available for Linux. QED.
Thereâ€™s a realistic use for non-Linux, Photoshop users: Portable GIMP, which lives on a USB drive/thumb drive. Might be handy when you donâ€™t have access to your own computer but can use someone elseâ€™s (hotel business center?) Windows PC.
Or, for those dabbling in Linux, boot up into a hearty Linux distro using a Live CD, which doesnâ€™t touch the operating system on your hard drive. If you use Ubuntu Linux (ubuntu.com) the GIMP will be there to try, too.
Both of these might be helpful to budget-strapped church in-house web developers, too.